Friday, August 24, 2007

My left shoe

When Patrick was little all of his bodily functions sounded like how you would say comic strip sounds. He couldn't read so we're not sure how he knew how to make those sounds. His yawning sounded like "yawn," his gasping sounded like "gasp." I suppose people really can sound like that, but when you pretend to punch invisible people does it really sound like "pow-pow?"

Rachel seems to have taken after him in this manner. She is a sneezy baby and has been from the very beginning. Her first cry went like this, "Waa, waa...a-choo, a-choo, a-choo!" (That may be a slight exaggeration, but she sneezed a lot in the hospital and she sneezes a lot now. Maybe she's allergic to life).

Today Emma, the little girl I babysit, Rachel, and I were going over body parts.

"Where's your nose, Emma? No, those are your ears. Where is your nose? That's right! Where's Rachel's nose? Touch the baby's nose..."

In the midst of this engaging mental exercise, Rachel had a sneezing fit. It sounded just like the sneezes in a comic book.

"A-choo, a-choo, a-choo!" said Rachel.

Looking very proud of herself, Emma showed Rachel her shoes and said, "Ooooh, shoe! Yay!" and then clapped her hands. I'm not sure if she was thrilled about correctly identifying her shoe (I suppose when you're one-and-a-half your shoe counts as a body part) or if she was happy that Rachel has started talking (as we all know, 5 week old babies aren't the most entertaining of playmates) but at least she was happy.

According to Emma, Rachel can say shoe. This is good news for Andrew, who may need some help with his vocabulary. Rachel can coach him.

A few nights ago as we were going to bed the whole house was dark, and I whispered, "I love you."

"My left shoe," Andrew mumbled in response.

"Are you sleeping?" I asked.

"No," he replied, "My left shoe."


"My left shoe..." and then he burst out laughing.

"What?" I asked again.

"Oh, it's just, you know that trick where you can say 'My left shoe' and it looks like you're saying 'I love you?'"

"Yes, but in my family we said, 'Elephant poo,'" (which, by the by, often made me cry as a child. I would chase after my siblings nattering, "Did you mouth 'I love you,' or 'elephant poo?' Tell me, tell me, tell me!" It was very damaging to my psyche).

"Well, that doesn't work if you say it out loud because it has different sounds than 'I love you.'"

And to think he thought about majoring in linguistics. It's a real shame. He would have been good. He catches on fast.


  1. Hee. Elephant Juice works too. :) Sounds like Rachel is just really beginning to grasp things if she can identify people's shoes already! Phenomenal child.

  2. I have never heard about the elephant poo thing before...wasn't I in the same house and family?

    Love Mom

  3. That's funny - in Casey's family it was always "alligator food". Maybe we should start a list... :)

  4. Hey, Nancy--I sneeze alot in air conditioning, I noticed recently. Maybe Rachel sneezes so much because she was born in an air conditioned hospital and lives in an air conditioned house. After it cools off and you don't use it anymore, it will be interesting to see if the sneezing stops. :o) Mom

  5. I don't know why you never heard the elephant poo thing...I wonder if anyone else remembers.

    And, Shaillé, Emily says "olive juice."